Witness to a Crime -- A Citizens' Audit of an American Election
Canterbury Press (2008-03) Richard Hayes Phillips
This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1736
More Info: Election Integrity
From the section "FORENSIC EVIDENCE" on page 198
WHY THE BALLOTS WERE NOT COUNTED
August 6, 2006
During the summer of 2006 we photographed all the regular punch card
ballots from the 2004 presidential election for 46 selected precincts in Cleveland.
We also photographed the absentee ballots for 14 of these same precincts.
Among our most interesting findings pertained to the uncounted ballots. These
would be "undervotes," which contain no vote for president, and "overvotes,"
which contain two or more votes for president. There were 775 such ballots
among the regular ballots, and 50 among the absentee ballots. This paper
analyzes why these ballots were not counted as votes for president.
It was not easy to gain access to the ballots. My initial public records request
to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections was dated April 3, 2006. The ballots
were not even located until 74 days later, on June 16, 2006, when Adele Eisner
found them. As stated in my Declaration to Federal District Court:
On June 8, 2016, I received an email from the Board of Elections
stating that Gary F. Barna, Executive Assistant to the Board of
Elections Director Michael Vu, had boxed up all the 2004 punch
card ballots and was not sure where he put them (there were
687,255 ballots cast in Cuyahoga County). At 2:00 P.M. on
Friday, June 16, 2006, at which time my records request had
been pending for 10 weeks and 4 days, we showed up at the
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections with two video cameras
rolling. Mr Barna let us into the storage room in the basement,
where our people, not Board of Elections personnel, found the
ballots, not in any of the locked cages, but in a more freely
accessible location within the storage room. (On a subsequent
visit, the door to the storage room was found to be unlocked).
The ballots were stacked up on pallets, shrink wrapped all
together, against the wall, hidden behind other elections
materials. We tore off the shrink wrap, rearranged the boxes
with the labels facing outward, set aside the boxes that contain
the ballots for precincts I had requested, and the boxes that
contain the absentee ballots, none of which had ever been
tallied at the precinct level, having only been tallied by
Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly district. We
photographed the boxes in place, as we left them.
During a telephone conversation on July 24, 2007, Adele Eisner clarified the
story. She arrived alone at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Cheryl
Ellis forestalled her at the door and implored her to go home, saying that there
was no appointment, and trying to divert her attention by offering her the
agenda for the next Board meeting. Adele said "No, I'm going to find the
ballots." Cheryl implied that this would not be possible, that Gary Barna had one
of the keys to the double-locked door, at that he had been away on vacation.
When Adele ascertained that Gary Barna had already returned from vacation
and was actually upstairs, she asked to be escorted to his office, which she
entered with her tape recorder and video camera rolling. Mr. Barna immediately
acquiesced and went downstairs, where the outside door to the ballot room was
found to be unlocked, as were the cages within which other ballots and elections
materials were stored. Jeffrey Kirkby, the other person with a video camera, did
not arrive until Adele had found the ballots, at which time Vicki Lovegren
and I joined them in the ballot room and began tearing off the shrink wrap and
organizing the boxes of ballots.
From Page 214
I express my heartfelt thanks to all the citizen volunteers who bravely and
steadfastly photographed the forensic evidence, all day long, day after day, in
Board of Elections offices across the State of Ohio.